The Mafia Funeral was inspired by a true incident. When Susan attends the funeral of a young friend whose father was in the Mob, what happens at the church is like a scene from a funny movie complete with an irate priest and five shocked Jewish pallbearers. Later a gangster from San Francisco mistakes her for the daughter of a Mafia mobster. You'll laugh at the funny stories, try to solve the mysteries and feel your heart warm to others. The collection includes several of Morgan St. James's award-winning short stories--some fiction--some true. This is the perfect book to read when time is limited.
EXCERPT FROM TITLE STORY IN "THE MAFIA FUNERAL"
Jerry noticed a slight scowl on Angie’s face and as they walked to their pew, he explained in hushed tones. “You wouldn’t believe what happened. That priest was very upset because five of the six pallbearers were Jewish. He actually had the gall to insist the pallbearers should be Catholic. Well, I let that old man know in no uncertain terms that I was calling the shots, not him.”
“And I told him these five were my brother’s best friends and religion had nothing to do with it. He protested again, and I had to play hardball.” The corners of his mouth drew into a wry smile. “I told him that we’d helped build his church and we could take our support elsewhere.”
He patted Jerry on the shoulder. “I added that friends are friends, whatever their religion, and insisted he show respect. The old guy hasn’t said two words to me since. Hope he doesn’t screw up the service.”
Looking around the church, it quickly became obvious that the limos belonged to several “out of town” mourners. Jerry and his wife recognized some very high-profile mobsters from photos they had seen in newspapers through the years. The five Jewish pallbearers and their spouses huddled on the left side of the church, right in front of Angie and his friends, not knowing whether to genuflect or not. They whispered among themselves, then finally decided to honor the customs of the church.
The priest, now standing at the pulpit, glared laser beams in their direction. Like a scene in a funny movie, the eulogy began.
His deep, resonant voice resounded throughout the church. All eyes remained riveted on the silver-haired Father in his full regalia. He began to speak with a heavy Italian accent, and continued to stare directly at the five couples. “Today, as we say-a farewell to our son Vincente DeVarino, we know that Jesus-a Christ is-a watching over ninety-nine-a percent of us in this church…”
A loud gasp came from behind them. Some of the mourners, including Jerry and Susan, turned to see Angie’s face turn as dark as a storm cloud about to burst. Lightning flashed from his eyes. He grasped the front of the pew so hard, his knuckles began to turn white. The priest had defied him. Everyone held their breath, hoping that nothing would happen to ruin the service. Angie slowly relaxed his grip on the pew and his features softened. After that, everything calmed down, the service continued, and finally it was over.
On the way to the car, Jerry whispered, “He looked so natural lying there, somehow I expected him to sit up in the casket and say, ‘Okay, folks, the joke’s on you. You can go home now.’ Then he grabbed onto Susan’s shoulder and sobbed.